TVs really are like artwork in the house these days ~ when it takes up so much visual real estate in a room, bar, etc, you really can’t leave it off as a big black screen of nothingness! So the big question is, what do you leave on? And with so many apps and channels and dvd collections and everything these days, i’ve been bouncing the idea around with friends about what we’d possibly leave on in the background streaming while people were over and not actually focused on the TV… which things look pretty and interesting enough to glance at now and then… things you don’t necessarily need to be full engrossed in to have moments of enjoyment from… and yet, you could also plop down on the couch and lose yourself in them if that bored and trying to survive the holidays? So, we’ve pulled together a rather random smattering of films and shows that came up, as well as some apps that help you get the job done too! Check out our list on the next page!
Ok i struggled for about 5 seconds on this one. I know, its been a heavily sponsored, brand happy holiday season. Between actual awesome sponsors supporting what we do here ~ and the many many giveaways and gift guides in progress… and Samsung is in fact one of (not to play favorites) our very awesome sponsors once again this season. But all of that aside, this was just awesome, and were it for any other random brand, i’d be posting it. So here it is!
Appropriately i found out about this little internet toy on Twitter ~ Samsung’s Boosted is bringing us all some Tweet Wrap ~ wrapping paper you can customize with your tweets (or any search you want) ~ and they will actually SEND you your wrapping paper ~ Free! (You can also order more, pay for speedy delivery, etc). Beyond the concept, the site and UI is fun, playful, colorful, and all around holiday happiness… besides, 8 bit video game styling and fun optical illusion filled textures can’t go wrong… so since there were only 65 of the 3000 free rolls when i just tried it, had to share. And screenshots of the nice UI on the next page.
Gift Guide time! In addition to the NOTCOT Holiday Coupons and the many Holiday Giveaways that will be unfolding daily… this one is focused on PHOTOGRAPHY! as sponsored by Starbucks who is celebrating their 12 Days of Sharing with us, hiding fun goodies, which are popping out from behind NOTCOT.org posts! So, if you’re ready to see my Photography focused gift guide picks ~ check out the next page!
This sponsored post is brought to you by Samsung Electronics America - content is mine, and they are enabling me to do my thing! The amount and types of Apps available on Samsung Smart TVs vary depending on TV Technology and Model. Make sure to check www.samsung.com/apps to see a complete list of apps available on Samsung Smart TVs and which apps are available on specific models. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Samsung Electronics or its partners.
So i’m currently at Gramercy Park Hotel - actually just popped down 14 floors to their gym you see in the pic up there! Working out on the go is a challenge ~ and i’ve been ending up in a lot of conversations lately on how technology has helped/evolved the way we work out and find regularity in our schedules, especially while on the go ~ as well as many discussions about how apps and the internet on our TVs are changing our interactions in the living room. Combine the two, and when posed with a chance to explore the new Samsung TV Apps, it seemed only natural to see what’s available these days that can change the way we exercise. From literally using fitness apps, to streaming workout videos/dvds on youtube and netflix ~ from blasting pandora tunes to skypeing a trainer or a friend to work out with from just about ANYWHERE… take a peek at what i found!
This post is the first of three gift guides sponsored by Xfinity. Focused on themes of gifts and gadgets that help us push the boundaries of how and where we watch TV! As usual ~ content is all me, and they’re sponsoring me to do it! And for the official bit: “This post brought to you by Xfinity from Comcast. The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Comcast or its partners.”
Partial Operation Window Seat post ~ that view is from today’s flight from LAX-JFK ~ as i worked all 5 hours on my Mac Book Air ~ even streaming TV shows in the background since this flight had no mini entertainment screen all of my own! It’s pretty amazing how a 5 hour flight felt more like a 1 hour flight when i had internet the whole way to work/chat my way through it! I guess we are pretty spoiled these days with the ability to get entertainment of all kinds in so many different ways! But it’s situations like this that inspired this gift guide which is filled with products that change and accessorize the way we interact and consume TV when outside of the living room… like while traveling! Take a peek at all my picks on the next page!
It’s inevitably become car week here at NOTCOT, between global adventures with Mercedes-Benz ~ spending today at the LA Auto Show Press Events… and more! So while i was watching the unveiling of CLS 63 AMG and the Diavel, Linhchi hopped over to Volkswagen at the Audi design center right by the Santa Monica Airport. In addition to celebrating their 20th anniversary in California, there was a sneak peak of the new 2012 Volkswagen Eos.
The president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Jonathan Browning, emphasized that VW is all about a balance of style/fun and function, a perfect fit for California. The new convertible Eos that was unveiled is currently the only hardtop convertible with a built-in sunroof. I guess it’s perfect for those moments when it’s too cold out to have the top down, but you still want to enjoy the SoCal sun? Check out pics from the event on the next page, from a VW car on the wall to dogs being carried to Gossip Girl cameos…
It’s 3:30am, so please forgive the random nature of the images for this post, but wanted to give you a peek from tonight’s launch before i went to bed… Here’s a look at the new Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG in addition to the new Ducati Diavel ~ and during the press event, Gabriele del Torchio, President and CEO of Ducati came on stage together with Ola Kallenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG, they announced their new partnership to be working closely together! From AMG becoming one of the Moto GP team sponsors to starting to include Ducati bikes at AMG events and vice versa. It was interesting to see both machines in matte finishes, the CLS 63 in a matte grey, and the Diavel in a matte black/matte carbon fiber… both having such strong lines, the curves definitely stood out well in the lighting…
Ok, seriously, have to get some sleep before ending up at the press conferences in four or five hours, so sweet dreams, and there are lots of random picture details to feast upon on the next page!
Today Mercedes-Benz unveiled its 1:1 scale model of the Biome concept car ~ their entry into this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge: 1000 pound car designed in their Carlsbad studio. Honestly, it’s one thing to dream up the future on paper/screens, another to make scale models… but to see the life size version today was spectacular! This sleek futuristic model plays with the notion that from the DNA of Mercedes, an organic skeletal structure can literally be grown into a beautiful minimalist bio-futuristic car, with a fierce almost plane like nose, wheels that are reminiscent of plane turbines, and a tron like glow… The interior skeletal structure even allows passengers to comfortably sit as if lounging together, a layout resembling seeds in a pod, with their heads coming together in the center of the car! The last few days has resulted in some incredible design inspiration, forward looking design trends, and so many intriguing details to get lost in… so let’s kick things off with tons of pics of the new life size models of the Biome on the next page! (as well as a peek at the model making and the adorable mini model they gifted us!)
Last in my series of posts about my adventures with smart TVs ~ sponsored by the fun folks at Intel’s smart TVs! As usual ~ content and pics and all that fun is all me and they are supporting me to do it!
So what ELSE can you do with a smart TV? Apparently be watched. Watch people. (and no, not the vid chat type we talked about before.) That sort of thing. Ok, so maybe it’s not THAT creepy, though i suppose it kind of is in the example i’ll show you! But really, what we’re talking about here are security cameras! Logitech’s in particular! Indoor, outdoor, night vision security cameras! I was amazed that visit to the Logitech Loft in LA ~ you could peek and see in to the kitchen and balcony of the Logitech Loft in SF! And vice versa! And all through the Google TV ~ with the Logitech Alert app. But ok realistically, this isn’t awesome just for co-loft-shenanigans… think about it as a home security system that you can check WHILE watching TV (or internetting, or whatever else you’re probably doing with your TV in the center of your home). There’s a beauty to not NEEDING the computer or external screens to check in on your security cameras ~ be it for the backyard, front door, or vacation home… why not just use the screens you have, including the TV? And while you’re watching TV you can even picture in picture it… so take a peek on the next page of the Logitech Alert system i saw in action on Google TV!
Ok ~ still waiting for files to transfer, so currently tethered to my desktop while the macbook air and macbook pro do their thing beside me… one is so tiny, the other now seems SO HUGE. So how about taking a peek at the actual Macbook Air unboxing? It’s lovely how streamlined the packaging is getting these days ~ this one could probably be slipped right into a shirt box! Also its ridiculous seeing the ipad stacked over 11” macbook air over the 15” macbook pro… honestly the iPad looks like its losing this war. Especially if the air can handle photoshop at least decently (my previous netbooks never quite managed this well enough to become a primary travel machine). And shaving a few pounds of my hand carry is something my back would LOVE. Also it opens up a whole new world of purse/carry on options… also lovely that the TSA is saying ok to not having to remove the 11” Air to go through security! I can’t even remember the last time i had the luxury of only having to remove my shoes and toiletries! As for why i had to try one out for myself ~ opening up a bunch of safari windows and loading up as many tabs as i could find for each simultaneously working wonderfully in the apple store convinced me… Keep in mind: air = .67 x 11.8 x 7.56 = 2.3 lbs vs ipad = .5 x 9.56 x 7.47 = 1.6 lbs oh and the mac book pro is just so much heavier and bigger, it’s no comparison. SO! Ready to see inside the box? And the size comparisons? To the next page!
Far too much excitement today ~ there’s the NotVentures launch for starters! Then Mr. FedEx showed up with a Mac Book Air 11”! And while i giddily have to sit back and wait for it to take over my MBP for a few hours parasitically sucking data ~ i’m way too amused by the adorableness of the USB restore key… and the packaging of it! Have you see this thing up close? Held it? It’s kind of awesome. And reminds you how silly it is that other USB keys are any bigger… you can see it above next to my SD/USB cards i always have in my wallet/cameras/etc. There’s really little need for it to be any bigger, other than to make a toy out of it or something? Though i suppose it’s cute they evened out all 4 contacts ~ instead of the rocker fist of my SD/USB one… Anyhow! Before showing you a proper unbox, i found myself taking too many pics of the key… so here’s an unbox of that! See the many pics on the next page…
Second in my series of posts about my adventures with smart TVs ~ sponsored by the fun folks at Intel’s smart TVs! As usual ~ content and pics and all that fun is all me and they are supporting me to do it!
Since the Logitech Revue unbox post - the question i’ve been getting non stop since i’ve started playing with the Logitech Revue GoogleTV is ~ “Really? How are you using it?” ~ and then i have to tell some silly story as if walking someone through how i watch tv… and how surprised i am to have found the Google TV integrating itself so easily in my day to day life. Unlike the way my Wii and PS3 never did… or the way an Apple TV/Roku/Boxee never did… Even with the limited number of apps on the Google TV platform, i’m surprised how much i’ve used it since plugging it in. The key? Perhaps HOW it fits into my media center ecosystem. I have a tendency to leave the TV on in the background when home, leave the DVR doing its thing collecting shows up while i travel/etc… and Slinboxing shows when i have downtime abroad and have a homesick moment… The key difference seems to be… it sticks itself right in between my DirecTV box and my TV… sure, i can play with the internet on my Wii and PS3 and such as well, but i have to switch sources, and boot them up… this just stays on, and is already connected when watching TV… so the transition is seamless to multitask while doing what i was already doing. SO since i got sick of trying to explain it ~ i’ve tried to make sense of it for you on the next page all in pictures! It’ll make more sense when you head there!
First in my series of posts about my adventures with smart TVs ~ sponsored by the fun folks at Intel’s smart TVs! As usual ~ content and pics and all that fun is all me and they are supporting me to do it!
Google TV unboxing time! …with the Logitech Revue that literally disappears into my media center! As you saw earlier, amazon managed to get the Logitech TV Cam to me before the box itself, so you’ve already seen that unboxed. The Logitech Revue showed up the day after, so here’s the unbox/setup and first impressions… in usual Logitech fashion, the hardware is sleek, simple and feels great. So check out the unbox on the next page ~ as well as a peek at KidRobot’s new Simpson’s Mini Series 2…
First impression. Wow. I mean, i’ve heard ABOUT the Ultimate Ears Customs for some time now, but being custom, no one elses will ever really fit you perfectly… so you can’t know how incredible they can sound, until you try your own. And wow. They sound and feel amazing! Freshly arrived today are a set of Ultimate Ears 18 Pro Custom In-Ear Monitors, which i got molded for back at NAMM (but was bad and had trouble deciding colors/prints/etc ~ as you can see, i went with the smoke!) From the goo they stuck in my ears, out came these perfect fitting molds hand made right here in socal! I’ve never loved the feel of ear plugs or headphones very much, but i barely notice these after wearing them for a while… and they sound incredible. While i can’t exactly SHOW you how they sound, i can show you the thoughtful packaging and what you receive when your customs arrive… take a peek at the unbox on the next page!
On design details to lust after, Logitech always manages to deliver ~ while mildly frustrating that my Logitech TV Cam arrived today ~ but my Logitech Revue/GoogleTV isn’t coming until tomorrow… it’s still such a pretty object, i’ll share the unbox first! It beautifully mounts even on the thinnest of TVs and sturdy enough, no need to worry about it leaping off in an earthquake. Armed with a Carl Zeiss wide angle lens with 5x digital zoom and two digital, directional microphones, it promises to take “HD video calls” to a whole new level. Since there’s no Revue to play with today, tried it out with ichat ~ and it works! Nice auto focus, wide angle, and
p.s. on silly design details ~ i love that the blue stripes seen in the website pics aren’t lit up when its off! It’s sleek and black and disappears right into tv…